The Vice-Presidential Candidate for the National Democratic Congress (NDC), Prof. Jane Naana Opoku-Agyemang has said that the NPP lied about the cancellation of the Teacher Training Allowance.
According to her, there was the need to scrap the payment of allowances and replace it with the loan scheme because the Training Colleges were upgraded into Tertiary Institutions and therefore had to be put on the students Loan Trust fund for Tertiary Students.
She indicated that the move was to create room for an increased enrollment in the various Teacher Training Colleges across the country; a feat which was achieved during the year in which they introduced the loans in place of the allowances.
The NDC running mate said although the NDC introduced the loan scheme instead of the allowances, the allowances of the students who were already taking them were not cancelled but were paid in full until they left school.
Professor Jane Naana said the new entrants who were enrolled later and were in their first year of Tertiary Education were therefore put on the loan scheme and were treated like how Tertiary Students of Universities across the country.
Prof. Jane Naana Opoku-Agyemang said she was shocked that the NPP peddled falsehood about the allowances and created the impression that students who were already taking their allowances were not been paid.
She said several lies and adjectives were used to describe the move which to her was the best at the time considering the fact that the Teacher Training Colleges had been upgraded by the government and the students were going to take a similar certificate as the students of the University of Education, Winneba.
“There were a number of people who were qualified but were at home. These people wished they would have been given the opportunity to join their colleagues in school. So we said that ok now the Training Colleges are now Colleges of Education so the Certificate Issued to them are the same as what is issued to the students of the University of Education and UCC and the do not take allowance, So we asked what was done to students in Cape Coast and Winneba and we realized they take student loans. So, what we did was to contact GETFUND and Ministry of Finance to increase the allocation for the loans so that all the schools that have been given the tertiary status will be given loans instead of the allowance.
Before we introduced the loan Scheme for the Colleges of Education, we gave one-year notice that those who be enrolled in the next academic year, this is how we will be handling them. The Students Loan Trust Fund designed a programme which I was a part of and hey went to all the Colleges of Education to educate them on how to fill the forms and they combed the whole country to do this and yes, the students took the money.
Those who were taking the monies already were still taking their allowances. The second-year students did not have their allowances cancelled. They took the money till the completed their academic work. So, if any individual comes to say that we took their monies from them by cancelling the allowances, it’s shocking. Reports that we took their allowances from them are lies. The allowance for teacher trainees was not cancelled, it was replaced. We heard them using several words like allowances have been scrapped, even the media shocked me, they should have come to ask but they also helped to peddle the falsehood,” she said in her first interview on Live 107.5 in the Central Region.
She said when the allowances were replaced by the student loan, it helped to increase enrollment from 9,000 students across the country to 15,000 students intake during that year; an indication that scrapping the allowance was ideal.
The NDC running mate charged the media to research on the number of intake and the kind of allowances been paid to the students after the NPP promised them to restore the allowances.